Thursday, August 8, 2013

best banana bread

Whoo-hoo! guess what! and alert the presses! I just discovered the best banana bread recipe ever!

Okay, so my discovery isn’t that original, considering I found the recipe in a popular food magazine under the heading "Best Banana Bread," but that I actually agreed with the bold proclamation is, perhaps, the true great revelation.

After three batches, my children are a little bit weary of the bread. But not my husband! He’s madly in love. So much so that—get this—he’s been mumbling under his breath something about needing more bananas for more bread.

This is the same man who forgets that other people—such as his parents, his children, his wife!—even exist when they aren’t directly in his line of vision. So that he’s thinking of banana bread when there's not a trace to be found is nothing short of astounding.

Unlike some people, I am not a banana bread freak. My repertoire of favorites is small (this and this and this), though much loved. However, after one bite, this banana bread zipped to the top of the list so fast I got whiplash. I might be a banana bread freak after all.

Here’s why I like it:
*It is dark and dewy. (I’d use the word “moist” but I know some of you would take issue.)
*The hot oven turns the edges and top almost caramelly.
*With its saggy middle, crunchy edges, and bubbly-hole-studded top, it’s charmingly rustic.
*It’s swoonily addictive. This is a good thing!
*No beaters; the batter is oil-based.
*Aside from a separate pan for mashing the bananas, it’s a one-bowl deal.

Just look at those candied edges! 

Best Banana Bread
Adapted (hardly) from the March 2013 issue of Bon Appétit.

The bread is supposed to be baked in loaf pans, but I used regular sheet cake pans. One recipe overflowed my 8x8-inch pan. A double recipe fit nicely in a 9x12 and a 8x8. In other words, use a pan that’s a little bigger than you think you’ll need.

I could detect a bit of a baking soda flavor in the first batch. In the following bakings, I dialed back the amount of soda and all was well.

1 3/4 cups flour
1 ½ scant teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1½ cups sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe (almost rotten) bananas
3/4 cup flavorless oil, such as canola

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, and bananas. Add the dry ingredients and combine well.

Divide the batter between several greased, small loaf pans (or one big loaf pan or a pan that’s a bit bigger than a standard 8x8 pan).

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes, depending on the pan size, or until the bread is dark brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the edges are pulling away from the sides. Cool, eat, and freak out. Join the club!


  1. Okay, I'm calling you out on this one. My standard recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar for 8 (EIGHT) cups flour, and it is plenty sweet. Naturally yours tastes amazing - it uses more than twice as much sugar (proportionally speaking) as mine. I think. Check my math.

  2. Luck would have it we have some ripe bananas!

  3. really? I'm skeptical, I admit. I think I like more jazz in my banana bread (our favorite has peanut butter and chocolate chips in it). But your husband's endorsement means a lot. . .

  4. Made these into mini muffins (bake 10-12) with chopped pecans sprinkled on top. Delicious!

  5. I just made this and cooked it at 375 degrees and it came out burnt! GRRRR!

  6. So so so good! I meant to comment awhile ago but forgot. I am making these this morning at my kids request. This is the only banana bread they want now :) I have so much fun going through your recipes.